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  • From The Spirit-Spout

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever

"Mysteriously jetted into the clear moonlight, or starlight, as the case might be; disappearing again for one whole day, or two days, or three; and somehow seeming at every distinct repetition to be advancing still further and further in our van, this solitary jet seemed for ever alluring us on. [. . . ] For a time, there reigned, too, a sense of peculiar dread at this flitting apparition, as if it were treacherously beckoning us on and on, in order that the monster might turn round upon us, and rend us at last in the remotest and most savage seas."


Musing: What the men thought was a whale turns out to be a jet that disappears the closer they get to it. This apprehension Ishmael speaks of becomes the first sign of doom and a bit of foreshadowing. What is beckoning the ship on, besides Ahab's will? How often have we followed illusory images only to really too late it was a trap?

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